Monday, June 22, 2015

All About Middle Grade Review: My Life in Dioramas

My Life in Dioramas by Tara Altebrando, April 18, 2015. 256 pages. Published by Running Press Kids. Source: publisher.
Twelve-year-old Kate Marino thinks she is a real mastermind. At least when it comes to hatching a plan to dissuade potential buyers from purchasing Big Red, the old farmhouse that has been the only home Kate has ever known, and which her parents must sell in order to downsize.
Kate has not even moved yet, and already her life is changing in unwelcome ways. Every moment and memory seems fleeting. Making dioramas of the people she loves in the places that she holds dear gives Kate a sense of calm. But there’s no way Kate is going to move now, when her dance troupe is finally going to compete at Dance Nation, and her best friend is starting to replace her with her enemy, Megan. It may take several bags of stink, the help of her friends, and a few fake dogs in order for her to be able to keep her life the way that she knows and loves it.
First Sentence:
"Come on!" I said. "Come on!"

Again, Tara Altebrando has created another wonderful middle grade book! I really enjoyed watching Kate try to scheme her way into saving the only house she's ever lived in and get her way to Dance Nation. Yet, as enjoyable as both those things were there was another aspect of the book that totally won me over.

Pretty much from the moment I opened My Life in Dioramas I knew it was going to be a good read. Why, because Kate's predicament and her crazy schemes to scare potential buyers off was, to say the least, entertaining. Even though I enjoyed her antics, though she went a little far on a few of them, I liked Kate because she had spirit. 

One of the things that made My Life in Dioramas so good was that there was more than the fate of 'Big Red' at stake, the fate of the Marino family is at stake as each of them has their own problems to work through. Problems that in the end will make them a stronger family. Yes, it was the entire Marino family that really made this book! I'll try not to spoil it, but, seeing them work through all the issues currently bringing them pain and separating them from each other, it was so well written and, well, I just wanted them to make it through this rough patch!!

Tara Altebrando does a a wonderful job with everything Kate faces throughout the book. From the drama of competition between friends, to the anger she faced over the thought of leaving her home and friends, all the way to the rocky relationship between Kate and her parents My Life of Dioramas does an excellent job of handling all the emotions tangled up in the life of Kate and her family. I really do not think it could have been done any better than it was!!

Final Verdict: My Life in Dioramas- An excellent look into one family's rough time and how change is not always as bad as one fears it can be. Great writing and characters make this one I would definitely recommend.

My Life in Dioramas earns

this book was received in exchange for an honest review.

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